Opportunities and Options: Making Career Preparation Work for Students

In 2014, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) convened a task force of state chiefs, state CTE directors and key national partners to create recommendations for supporting career readiness and career education for all students. This report, supported by 43 states and territories, presents a clear set of actions states can take to close the skills gap and ensure more students graduate from high school prepared for high-skill, high-demand careers.

Recommendations include: 

  • Enlist the employer community as a lead partner in defining the pathways and skills most essential in today’s economy
  • Set a higher bar for the quality of career preparation programs, enabling all students to earn a meaningful postsecondary degree or credential
  • Make career readiness matter to schools and students by prioritizing it in accountability systems

These recommendations are intended to help state and local policymakers in their efforts to design an education system that truly prepares all students for college and careers. This task force report was foundational to the launch of CCSSO's Career Readiness Initiative and New Skills for Youth, in partnership with Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group.

November 2014
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